Commercial VS Open Source

Published: Apr 25, 2016 1:13 PM

Following on from my blog on software piracy, I thought I should look a little more into Commercial vs Open source or freeware type software.

I know there are differences in the licence agreements with open source and freeware software’s, but I am more interested in discussing the types of software available and pros and cons for using such.

Commercial software (for the purposes of this article) is software that you have paid for to use in your home or business. Open Source or freeware software (again, for the purposes of this article) is software you have obtained that doesn’t require payment of a fee, and which you are free to use as needed.

For almost any application, there are both commercial options and free options.  You could in fact, once you have purchased your computer hardware, install many pieces of software without paying a cent for them, and be just as productive as a person using a PC full of paid for software.

From office productivity type software right through to Antivirus and utility type software, there are free or open source alternatives to the commercial types.

But still, many will refuse to even consider free alternatives to the commercial software options.

Why?

In my opinion, many of us have been using the commercial type of software for so long, we are afraid to try something new. We just want to get the job done, know how to use x software and don’t want to change. It’s too much hassle. Some also don’t believe that the free software will do as good a job and software that you pay for. As if there is some comfort in “I paid for it, and so it will do what I expect it to do and if it doesn’t I have some recourse with the writer of the software.”

This may be true in some cases.  Free or open source software doesn’t generally offer any support options, but many don’t use the support available to them with the commercial software either.

So what should I use? Free or paid for software?

The short answer – It’s up to you but don’t be afraid to try something new.

For almost every commercial software option, there is a freeware or open source alternative. If you are looking for one, have a talk to us – we can probably point you in the right direction.

Above all of this, if you do prefer the paid for software, buy it. Don’t use a pirated copy of the software. If you cannot afford it, consider the many free or open source alternatives available.